, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 1-2

The Current Role of Surgery in Metastatic Spine Disease: A New Era

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The study by Lee et al. is a large retrospective study of 577 patients with spinal metastases treated in South Korea from 2005 to 2010.1 The authors attempted to identify certain key epidemiological and survival variables between the conservatively and surgically treated groups.

The spinal metastases predominantly included lung, liver, and breast/colorectal cancers. The inclusion criteria for surgery included patients with neurological compromise due to tumor and/or intractable pain. Patients with poor general health (as determined subjectively by the physicians), patients with incidental spinal metastases without neurological compromise, and patients who refused surgery were allocated to the conservative treatment group. They identify female gender, use of adjuvant therapy postoperatively (chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy), and postoperative survival as important positive prognostic factors in the surgery group, while presence of preoperative neurological symptoms, significant systemic